The Coachella Music Valley has become the Super Bowl of music festivals. A few hours from now, the second week of the festival will get underway. During the first week of the festival, rolling out took a trip to Indio, California, to check out the music, style and festivities.
Here is how to survive 36 hours at Coachella.
Friday, April 9
3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Expect traffic
Southern California traffic is always a nuisance. But when adding the nation’s biggest music festival to the Friday afternoon rush hour, traffic was a disaster in the making. On a normal day, a trip from Los Angeles to the desert in Palm Springs can take about two hours. But on the opening night of Coachella, the same commute was close to four hours long.
10 p.m. Discover Flying Lotus’ visual masterpiece
Once arriving at Coachella, the sun began to set as most of the crowd anticipated AC/DC’s headlining performance. However, Flying Lotus may have captured the night with his visually stunning show that featured 3-D graphics and his signature melodic sounds.
Saturday, April 10
2 p.m. Watch Questlove spin at T-Mobile/Pandora private pool party
Questlove served as the headlining DJ for Pandora and T-Mobile’s private pool party. The event took place at the Cree Estate in Cathedral City where guests were treated by a host of hors d’ouevres and open bar.
Questlove’s set began an hour after the event’s initial start. The set’s theme was mixing the old with the new. Questlove did a masterful job of blending the original songs that were used as samples by top hip-hop artists. For example, Jay Z’s “Big Pimpin'” was a sample of Hossam Ramzy’s “Khusara Khusara”; Kanye West’s “Bound 2” was a sample of Ponderosa Twins Plus One’s “Bound”; and Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” was a sample of A Tribe Called Quest’s “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo.” Black Thought also hit the stage for an impromptu freestyle.
6:30 p.m. Get in touch with hard-core hip-hop with Run The Jewels
Run The Jewels took their hard-core brand of hip-hop to Coachella Valley Music Festival. From the opening song, “Run The Jewels,” the duo continued to add pressure during their hourlong performance, which, at times, resembled the hyper energy of a heavy metal set.
8 p.m. Know that Questlove could be everywhere
Three hours after his first event, Questlove made his way to the Heineken stage at Coachella to DJ a set that was funk-driven and inspired by James Brown. He also played the drums as Black Thought freestyled. Questlove would later say that it would be the last time he served as drummer and DJ during the same set.
9:45 p.m. Listen to the soulful FKA Twigs
FKA Twigs proved that she’s more than the just a companion to Robert Pattinson. Her music is moving and reminiscent of the late, great Aaliyah.
11 p.m. Welcome The Weeknd’s bedroom music
The Weeknd was able to captivate the crowd without adding special guests which has become a staple at Coachella. Instead, he used his voice and seductive songs to keep the crowd high with anticipation of the next major artist in music.
11 p.m. Expect Drake to do the unexpected
Drake surprised the crowd by bringing out Madonna, who wore a nightgown and black lingerie. After performing two songs, Madonna ushered Drake to a chair and gave him a short lap dance. Madonna then leaned over and kissed Drake who appeared shock by the open-mouth kissed.
Drake and, most in the crowd, appeared to view Madonna’s gesture as a bit weird. But after Madonna exited the stage, Drake continued to run through a slew of his past hits which included “Worst Behavior,” “Hold on, We’re Going Home” and “All Me.”
Overall, Coachella remains the most coveted festival in the nation. If you’re headed to the desert, expect for things to be turned up a notch this weekend.
Photos: A.R. Shaw